AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVII , No. 1, Spring 2005


Joe Anderson, Tom Lassman, and an IBM researcher
Joe Anderson, Tom Lassman, and an IBM researcher examine a semiconductor wafer at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Photo courtesy of Cecelia Brescia, AIP.

Click on photo to see a larger image.

Physicists in Industry Endowment

The Center's Project to Document the History of Physicists in Industry has passed its halfway mark. Project staff have completed site visits at nine of the 15 targeted corporate labs and conducted structured question-set interviews with more than 50 scientists and science managers in corporate research. The Center has also succeeded in raising awareness of the problems of preserving historical information within the industrial physics community. However, the history of applied physics is even more endangered than the Center originally anticipated. Little effort has been made to preserve or make known the history of America's unique system of applied research, and most of the historical records and memories are at risk of being utterly forgotten within a few decades.

To address this major shortfall, several of the Center's Friends have proposed that an endowment be established to identify, encourage and assist efforts in preserving the historical record of physicists connected with important applied research, the organizations that employ them, and the technologies resulting from their research. This Program will work with a broad range of technical companies and with physicists pursuing applied work in universities and governmental laboratories, including the pivotal national security sector. In addition to working to preserve the record of applied research, the Program will support and encourage the study, interpretation, and presentation of historical materials so that others particularly young people may share the excitement of this history and get a better grasp on how our society really functions.

If you wish to contribute to this endowment, and join the list of benefactors below, please e-mail the Center at or call 301-209-3006.
Endowment to Document
the History of Physicists in Industry

John Armstrong
Lewis Branscomb
Marc Brodsky
Mildred Dresselhaus
Charles Duke
Don Scifres

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AIP History CenterCenter for History of Physics
Phone: 301-209-3165
American Institute of Physics 2005 American Institute of Physics,
One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740-3843. Email:
Phone: 301-209-3100; Fax: 301-209-0843